Transworld has pre-empted a “chilling” debut crime novel from Sarah Pearse in a “significant” two-book deal.
Editor Tash Barsby acquired world English language rights for The Sanatorium from Charlotte Seymour at Andrew Nurnberg Associates. It will be released as a lead hardback, e-book and audiobook in December 2020. Rights have also been sold in Greece (Psychogios, two-book deal), the Netherlands (Ambo Anthos) and Russia (Eksmo).
Its synopsis explains: “The Sanatorium follows Elin Warner, a detective on a career break after being scarred by a particularly brutal case back home in Devon. When her estranged brother Isaac invites her to celebrate his engagement in the Swiss Alps – at a luxury hotel, newly converted from an old tuberculosis sanatorium – she feels she has no choice but to accept. But the morning after she arrives, Isaac’s fiancée Laure goes missing. Asked by Isaac to investigate, Elin soon discovers that Laure is not the first person to have disappeared in suspicious circumstances at the old sanatorium .
Barsby said: “I was completely blown away by The Sanatorium – Sarah has brilliantly combined a detective novel with a locked-room mystery, set against the beautiful, dramatic and dangerous landscape of the Swiss Alps. She is an expert on setting and atmosphere, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring her tremendous talent on to the Transworld list.”
Pearse added: “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Transworld team, who publish so many of my favourite authors. Tash’s enthusiasm for the story and its setting, and her plans for the book, are amazing – I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves. I’m hugely grateful to them and to my brilliant agent, Charlotte Seymour, for her support and for finding the perfect home for my novel. I couldn’t be more excited about the journey ahead.”
Seymour commented: “It’s been a pleasure to see this novel develop from the early planning stages, when Sarah showed me her stunning scrapbooks and the fascinating, though sometimes tragic and unsettling, history behind some of the sanatoriums and other facilities, where women were sometimes sequestered for reasons other than ill health. The result is a crime novel I couldn’t put down and I can’t imagine a better home for it than Transworld.”